10 October, 2005

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is a phrase perhaps chosen, more to ask us to acknowledge that the Web has changed in the last 10 years, than suddenly changed now.

Here I want to identify what those changes broadly are, before (time permitting) in later posts, moving on to looking at how this affects the opportunities for learning and teaching online, and most importantly how learning itself occurs differently. Of course in the spirit of Web 2.0, it would be great to get others involved in discussion on this topic either here, or for those from Edge Hill, to discuss in the Developer’s Information Base WebCT area.

Scott Wilson in his blog on October 04, 2005 includes the following concepts.

"Technology: Web 2.0
Web as ecosystem
– Small pieces loosely joined
– Emergent behavior from connections
– Stable linking reduces the need of co-location for stability

Web as conversation
– Read/write web
– Blogging
– Content is continuously created, remixed, and rediscovered"

So examples of technology allowing this are:

Wikis (eg. Wikipedia) – People work together to develop knowledge base.

CMap – Public mind maps/concept maps that can be updated by a group or anyone.

O’Reillys’ article:

What Is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software

talks about the dotcom crash being the turning point in the web and lists ‘before’ and ‘after’ software as examples of what happened in the change.

"In our initial brainstorming, we formulated our sense of Web 2.0 by example:

Web 1.0 --> Web 2.0

DoubleClick --> Google AdSense
Ofoto --> Flickr
Akamai --> BitTorrent
mp3.com --> Napster
Britannica Online --> Wikipedia
personal websites --> blogging
evite --> upcoming.org and EVDB
domain name speculation --> search engine optimization
page views --> cost per click
screen scraping --> web services
publishing --> participation
content management systems --> wikis
directories (taxonomy) --> tagging ("folksonomy")
stickiness --> syndication"

They also mention the need to see it as an attitude rather than a technology, and I think that is vital to understanding the changes. We can still do the things we did before (eg. Text on a website) but we are beginning to think that collaborative technologies (which are now easily available) are better at developing learning, and learning communities.

I think if I was presenting the Web 2.0 concept to academics (our customers) for the first time, the Britannica Online --> Wikipedia example above would be a great starting point to explain the paradigm shift required to move our use of the Web and e-learning to this next level we are talking about. And the Content Management Systems --> Wikis example challenging to the way we currently use WebCT.

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